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Letting Go with Guy Finley

Letting Go with Guy Finley

(Audio) Release Yourself From the Insensitive Self

posted by Guy Finley

In this short talk, Guy Finley talks about an uncommon kind of sensitivity that is required of the sincere spiritual aspirant who wishes to know a freedom that cannot be assailed by any darkness.

Click here to listen to “Release Yourself From the Insensitive Self”

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Keeping Our Attention in a Busy World

posted by Guy Finley

Question: I know that one is supposed to work to keep their attention wherever they are, but I live and work in New York City where the atmosphere is so dense and dynamic that you will encounter many impressions from a simple walk down the street, and you can easily forget a particular occurrence by the time you turn a corner. Multi-tasking is valued and even expected here in the workplace. Yet the city offers a progressive mindset with much healthy exposure and variety that helps develop a person unlike anything else. How much is too much activity for one who wishes to take on and risk more yet wants to keep their attention and not be overwhelmed with an unnecessary amount of activity where they live?

Answer: First, and perhaps most important of all, is that we do with our life moment to moment what we value above all else. There is no escaping this fact, nor should we try — as within it is the only way to find the freedom for which our heart of hearts longs.

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Everyone, everything must work in this world; it is a rule of life, a principal connected to obligation and the reconciliation of all that is. That said, there is what we owe to the world, and then there is what we must “give” to ourselves even in the midst of our busy-ness, if we ever hope to be free.

In many respects, the activities of people in this world — in their pursuit of pleasure, possessions, sensation — and all forms of experience connected to always having “so much to do” — is not unlike an individual trying to paint a picture on the surface of a running stream. Everything that we do in passing time will always prove itself to be pointless with regards to our wish to finding interior permanence. And, in a way, that’s the only question: not just where and how we spend our life, but what do we care about most, moment to moment, in the throws of our affairs?

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It is too easy to be pulled into the dark undercurrent that runs through the secret underbelly of this world; billions of people believe they have somehow escaped such spiritual captivity, when their activities are it’s very heartbeat. One way in which we can know our actual proximity to this unseen psychological prison is the degree to which we justify, or otherwise find ways to make peace with whatever unwanted position we have found ourselves within.

There are some things in this life for which there can be no substitute, regardless how temporarily promising or stimulating. On the other hand, it seems that the upper path can only be found and walked by those who realize not just the temporality of all their past choices but, more significantly, how temporary is the self that was satisfied by the same.

Lastly, never doubt that the Divine isn’t always aware of your needs before you are. This means that the true work for us as aspirants is to be as open as we can be to seeing how certain self-supplied needs leave us wanting. In this awareness are both a negation and the confirmation that our wish is being answered.

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Leave Any Troubled Thought Right Where You Find It

posted by Guy Finley

At one time I lived in a beautiful part of California called Ojai. The upper Ojai Valley is filled with huge walnut and oak trees that stand out against a backdrop of scrub and high chaparral.

The seasons are marked by the changing native grasses and flowers. Each year begins in purple clover and white apricot blossoms, followed by seas of wild yellow mustard. Then come the endless green fields of wild oats which slowly turn tan. And, if you know where to look, you can find clear, perennial streams and pools that swell with the spring rains.

One of my greatest pleasures was the freedom to disappear into the nearby mountains to walk along these streams. I enjoyed climbing in their stony beds, hopping from rock to rock. There was always so much to take in and, I must admit, sometimes I did more than just take in the special atmosphere. If I was lucky, I’d spot an especially knurly piece of walnut or manzanita, or an exceptional stone, and take it home with me.

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One afternoon I was quite a ways into the hills following a rain-swollen stream, when I saw it: a fist-sized rock whose colors were unlike any I’d ever seen before. It lay partially submerged in the stream. In a moment or two, I reached its secret hiding place and was holding it in my hands. Another treasure to take pleasure in I thought to myself as I turned to head back home.

Forty-five minutes later I placed my newest natural wonder on a wide, old wooden bench, next to a small collection of bonsai trees just outside my back door. It fit in well with my eclectic collection of odds and ends from the mountains. Then, making sure everything was in its right place for the last time, I went inside.

The next morning when I got up and went outside to admire my unusual find, what a shock was waiting for me. Where just the day before had sat an almost luminescent stone now squatted a dull, lifeless rock. It was as though it had somehow died overnight. In another instant, I realized exactly what had happened.

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The stone’s beauty was gone because it no longer had the stream’s water running over it to keep it sparkling. It was dry and dehydrated. No moisture, no shine; no shine, no glory. In that moment, the mistake I had made was clear, and I knew I would never make it again. That rock belonged where I had found it in the stream. That’s where it should have been left.

This simple outdoor story holds important inner lessons for us on many levels, but one stands out from the rest. Even though they may sparkle at first glance, learn to leave troubling thoughts and feelings where you find them.

For example, why pick up that bad feeling that always attends someone else’s careless remark, just because it momentarily attracts your attention? You don’t have to take it home with you. Just leave it where you find it.

Why wait until your mind is broiling to realize, that while negative thoughts seem to be teeming with life, what they really are is a form of psychic parasites. Leave all such dark forms where you find them, in the mud of the “me” mind. That’s where they should stay.

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The Hidden Worlds in a Spring Flower

posted by Guy Finley

Look closely… and you can see that every spring flower hides within it worlds within worlds. But, as we are now, we see only small and mean objects; we walk through separate worlds seen as either stepping-stones or boulders in our way, and so we sacrifice celestial communion for worldly compensation and its inherent conflict.

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